Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Birfffday

A year ago, I never would have guessed I’d be spending my birthday while living in Ecuador. In the past year, I have gone through relationship trouble, confusion about my ‘next step’, the rewards of graduating from university, bettering friendships, development of leadership, appreciated moments for what they offer, loved, laughed, cried, and all that other stuff- but as I said good-bye to 21 and hello to 22 over the weekend, I knew in my heart it all is a part of life, made me better, and I wouldn’t trade my year because I am happy, in Ecuador, and enjoying it. So, a quick thanks to the family and friends who were there to support me through my struggles and encourage me in my achievements.
Now that I’m through the mushy stuff...I’ll tell you how to celebrate a 22nd birthday in the jungle. This phase with enough staff members, we’ve been able to pick from a couple weekends to have one weekend off in Tena with another staff member. I originally picked week 3 of 10 because I knew in week 7 and 8 I’d be close enough to leaving I should power it out, especially with a weekend in Tena at week 5. When I realized week 3 weekend contained my birthday, Caroline, my roomie, picked that as her weekend off too. We left basecamp on the last bus to Tena that passes by at 2.30 generally. $5.00 and 5 hours later, we were arriving in Tena. We walked into the hostel GVI always uses when we pass through and got a room for 2 nights ($8 each per night) with no problems. With ambitious plans of partying the night away, after an hour of internet, some chicken, and a pina colada each, we retired to the room to watch 500 Days of Sumer at 9pm. Saturday morning I woke-up and read the birthday cards my parents and brother had sent me a head of time, went to breakfast, dropped of laundry, and sat in front of internet again for another couple hours. With a chicken lunch and avocado milkshake (which are surprisingly un-avacado-tasting) and grocery shopping done, my afternoon contained more internet time. Dinner was at Pizza Hilton, where we enjoyed more meat and after dinner drinks consisted of a 1.25L bottle of Coke and a new bottle of rum. Caroline and I went back to the hostel to start drinking and eat some slices of chocolate cake she had bought for me. At the bar we met one of the rafting guides from my ‘Thanks for Survivor’ experience who was happy to see me still alive and well. We got hustled into going to the local club where we showed up all the other gringos with our meringue moves. After dancing the night away, we returned to the hotel room where I proceeded to make a fool of myself on a skype video call to England to talk to Edwin, but not before I planted my face in my remaining cake and chugging rum straight from the bottle. I normally wouldn’t admit to such acts, but the pictures are already on Facebook. Sunday consisted of recovery via sleeping before getting on the 3.30pm bus back to the reserve. All in all it was a simple and fun weekend with the main factors of chicken, alcohol, and internet- all of which you can’t get in the jungle easily...

1 comment:

  1. I saw the photo on FB- I was wondering what was up with that!? a 5 hour bus ride, as previously described can't be too much fun with a hang-over...